“Odisha FC have agreed on terms with ATK Mohun Bagan for signing winger Michael Soosairaj. The transfer is likely to be completed in the upcoming weeks. Michael Soosairaj is likely to pen down a two-year contract with the Juggernauts also with an option of extending further,” a source tracking the development has told IFTWC.
Born in Tamil Nadu, Soosairaj started training with his local football club/academy St. Catherine FC one of the oldest football clubs in the state at an early age. He represented the college in Inter-University tournaments before joining the Arrows Football Club of the CFA Senior Division. After spending time with Arrows, Soosairaj joined another CFA Senior Division side, Chennai City FC. He also played for Tamil Nadu in the Santosh Trophy.
In December 2016, Chennai City FC were announced as a direct-entry side into the I-League, India’s top-tier football league. Soosairaj was selected in the squad to play in the I-League. He made his professional debut against Gokulam Kerala in December 2017 against Gokulam Kerala FC. Soosairaj recorded 5 goals and 4 assists for Chennai City FC in 33 appearances for the club.
In March 2018, Soosairaj signed for the ISL side Jamshedpur FC. He scored 4 goals in 14 matches during the 2018–19 season. He was brilliant throughout the season playing as a left or right-winger. He earned a lot of admiration for his performance. He was one of the standout Indian players of the season, and his performances led to him gaining his first international call-up.
Before the start of the 2019–20 season, Kolkata-based club ATK FC activated the release clause of Michael Soosairaj to sign him. Soosairaj played a key role as a winger or a wing-back under Antonio Lopez Habas. His speed, crossing, and dribbling skills were an important weapon for the club on their road to winning the ISL that season.
Michael Soosairaj continued at the club with the new merger between ATK FC and Mohun Bagan Athletic Club in 2020. During the opening game of the 2020-21 season against Kerala Blasters, Soosairaj got badly injured and was ruled out for the entire season.
After recovering from his injury Michael played his first match coming on late as a sub in the defeat against FC Nasaf in the 2021 AFC Cup. Ever since then his chances at the starting lineup have been limited due to the strength and depth of the Mariners upfront. In his career to date, Michael Soosairaj has scored 7 goals in the 41 ISL appearances.
For Odisha FC who finished 7th in the 2021-22 season, it will be an effective signing considering they will have more options in their forward line. With Nandha Kumar, and Jerry Mawihmingthanga already in the mix, Soosai as he is commonly known can add some more flair and trickery to the side.
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